The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is a body of the European Union dedicated to conducting (external and internal) administrative and independent investigations into fraud, corruption and irregularities involving EU funds, investigating serious misconduct by staff and members of EU institutions, and developing EU-wide policies to counter fraud.
Eurojust has established and maintains cooperative relations with OLAF, with a view to enhancing the fight against crimes affecting the financial interests of the EU. The tasks of OLAF and Eurojust are different in nature, but close cooperation between the two is essential, given that they are complementary bodies that share the aim of protecting the financial interests of the European Union by tackling fraud, corruption or any other relevant offence or illegal activity.
To this end, Eurojust and OLAF signed a practical agreement in 2008. The Agreement regulates cooperation between the parties, including operational and strategic cooperation, collaboration in joint investigations teams (JITs) and involvement in relevant professional training, seminars and workshops.
Based on the provisions of this Agreement, quarterly meetings are organised between dedicated teams of Eurojust and OLAF, and there is a regular exchange of case referrals, case summaries and case-related information, as well as a follow-up on the progress made and the activities performed in the exchanged cases. At the same time, the President of Eurojust meets biannually with the Director-General of OLAF to evaluate and reinforce cooperation.
Specifically, the OLAF-Eurojust cooperation brings added value to Eurojust through:
EU actors for criminal justice across borders
This chart provides an overview of cooperation between Eurojust, OLAD, and EPPO.View infographic
- specialist knowledge, in cases involving the EU budget or internal/EU staff investigations;
- digital forensics;
- access to databases and information possessed or managed by OLAF;
- knowledge-sharing of practicalities regarding EU law and financial procedures;
- coordination between the national administrative authorities;
- expertise provided by OLAF to judicial authorities;
- evidence from OLAF investigations used within criminal cases; and
- OLAF’s participation in JITs.
In return, Eurojust supports the work of OLAF by:
- improving coordination and information flow between national prosecution and judicial authorities;
- enhancing cooperation concerning the execution of international mutual legal assistance instruments;
- establishing contact with national authorities in other Member States or third States involved in a case;
- organising coordination meetings to bring national authorities and OLAF together;
- identifying the relevant judicial authority competent to deal with a criminal investigation linked to an OLAF case;
- assisting national authorities in possible judicial follow-up to OLAF recommendations; and
- supporting the setting up and financing of JITs.